Petition 81151

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Caregivers of Children (81151-C2-¶161.A)

Amend ¶ 161.A of the Social Principles as follows:
We believe the family to be the basic human community through which persons are nurtured and sustained in mutual love, responsibility, respect, and fidelity. We affirm the importance of loving caregivers both fathers and mothers  for all children. We also understand the family as encompassing a wider range of options than that of the two-generational unit of parents and children (the nuclear family), including the extended family, families with adopted or foster children, single parents, stepfamilies, divorced parents sharing custody of children, same-sex couples with children, and couples without children. We affirm shared responsibility for parenting by men and women and encourage social, economic, and religious efforts to maintain and strengthen relationships within families in order that every member may be assisted toward complete personhood.

Rationale

Children are being raised by various caregivers in a variety of household structures.  Resolution 26 (BOR, pages 131-35) states “...holistic ministry with families must, of necessity, be based on the broadest possible definition of family...”  Our churches’ words and deeds provide vital family support systems that embrace each household’s structure.